CHAOSTOCOSMOS

Tuesday, 10 March 2015

Inflicting suffering on those in need is now at the heart of our benefits system

During seven weeks of undercover work at a universal credit contact centre in Bolton, Channel 4 journalists witnessed a farcical mess of centralised IT failure. But what really stood out were the underhand tactics DWP staff were found to use against claimants: from deliberately withholding hardship payments from people struggling after having their benefits sanctioned, to hiding the flexible fund put in place to pay for clothes or a bus fare they needed to help them get a job.

“The whole idea is the punishment, that’s what you’ve got to suffer,” one adviser was filmed explaining. This mentality is normal now and beyond Dispatches the evidence is mounting.

Inflicting suffering on those in need is now at the heart of our benefits system

Pamela is a former accountant, recovering journalist and international cat herder, disabled and chronically sick with Myalgic Encephalomyelitis, Fibromyalgia and Cervical spondylosis, fluent in three languages; English, Spanish and Rubbish. Mostly writes in the latter. She likes Genealogy, Model Railways and Cats.

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